I published something of substance earlier this week, so I think it’ll be okay to limit this post to just five thoughts. However, next week, I will be on winter break, so I should have more time to write. Mitchell should also have some time to write for the same reason. (Insert Terrible Segue Here)
- Cleveland State got demolished yesterday by St. Bonaventure. The Vikings were without their best player in Anton Grady and their second best big man in Devon Long. However, the team played awful defense and most players shot the ball like Jeff Foster. If I’m Coach Waters, I have everyone not named Josh Ivory or Aaron Scales run extra laps and I’d bench Charlie Lee for the next game. Lee fouled out in only 23 minutes played while committing 7 (seven!) turnovers. Those numbers are each higher than his point total for the game, four, which makes this performance even tougher to stomach.
- Along with that defeat (and a few others I didn’t expect Anton Grady to miss), I was thinking about my season preview article, along with my predicted record of 21-8 (10-6). Wow was I off on this team. However, I was expecting Grady to play in every game, along with Long and Lomomba. However, that trio has played in exactly zero games together, with all three being healthy for just one of them (Long got the college equivalent of a DNP-CD in that game). I would like a do-over on my predicted record, assuming Grady will be medically redshirted and this season will turn into a wash. My new predicted record for the Vikings is 18-13 (8-8). For the Vikings, two of their next four games are against D-III teams while the other two are against MAC teams, in a conference that the Vikings have beaten 11 times in a row. At 10-4, the Vikings will be feeling pretty good heading into league play. However, running into Valpo and surprise team UIC will kill that morale. Luckily, 12 of their last 16 games are winnable, even on the road. Rematches against the aforementioned teams, at Alec Brown and Green Bay, and at Ray McCallum, Jr. and Detroit are the exceptions, even with their poor non-conference records. To be blunt, the Vikings are not good without Grady, but without him, they’re closer to average rather than terrible.
- The Indians made a HUGE trade to get Trevor Bauer and Drew Stubbs, among others, while giving up Shin-Soo Choo and some throw-ins (namely, Tony Sipp). I believe Stubbs will be a bust because he strikes out too much and doesn’t get on base enough to make good use of his speed. He doesn’t hit for a good average, either, though he has more power than anyone on last year’s Indians squad. Bauer, the centerpiece of the deal, is 21 years young and has many more years of team control left. Bauer has been harshly criticized for his pre-game rituals, but as long as he pitches well and doesn’t get injured, I’m not going to fight him on his warm ups. As a fellow music lover, if I could listen to my iPod 24/7, I would use it constantly. I’m sure Bauer has a similar mindset when it comes to his tunes. That said, something tells me that Terry Francona will talk to the California native and Bauer will be smarter when warming up for the Tribe in 2013.
- The Cavaliers lost by a single point and Kyrie Irving looked ridiculous with his mask on. He and Varejao are the only players on this team worth watching consistently as they are both playing at All-Star quality levels. Varejao is the best rebounder in the league and plays with hustle, something most NBA players know nothing of. If the Cavs are smart, they’ll keep Andy because he will force competition to work harder both in practices and games. On the Kyrie injury front, I’m concerned about him joining the category of “fragile” players as he has missed plenty of games over his last three seasons, going back to his time at Duke. If the Cavaliers are smart, they will not rush either player back from any injuries because the only thing to play for is a better lottery percentage. At least having both of them on the court makes this squad competitive.
- Good luck to the Browns today against the Redskins, sans-RG3. However, since Brandon Weeden is healthy, I am still going with the ‘Skins getting a victory over the Brownies. Just remember, this is Cleveland, so the worst possible scenarios are always in play. Kirk Cousins, out of Michigan State, gets his first career start. Watch him play so well that RG3 gets Alex Smithed next week. Okay, I’m kidding about that last part, but Cousins is probably going to surprise everyone except himself tomorrow afternoon.
Any teams I should focus more on? Any teams I should stop writing about? Let me know. Either comment below or Contact Us above.
Before I finish my thoughts, my prayers are with the families of those killed in Newtown, Connecticut.